Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Indian Classical Dance: The Foundational Element in My Practice of Ethnography


Cite this article:

2017 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918,

PechaKucha Presentation

Do we really understand how we became practitioners of ethnography?

In this talk, I go through a re-discovery of the links between my lifelong training in Indian classical dance and the elements this has instilled in my current practice of ethnography. In dance, we are trained to keenly observe every physical and emotional nuance of an item. Furthermore, we are taught symbolism and theory to deepen our interpretation of dance. This dance foundation has shaped my connection to every aspect of ethnography: from practice to analysis to presentation.

Vyjayanthi Vadrevu is the founding ethnographer/strategist of She leads research on projects ranging from social impact design to corporate technology innovation. Vyjayanthi is a trained Bharatantyam and Odissi dancer and uses movement and choreography to connect to the deepest parts of the human experience.